Latvia looking to refinance public debt

  • 2007-10-24
  • Staff and wire reports
RIGA - The Latvian government remains undecided on when, or if, it will go ahead with the planned fall Eurobond issue to raise 500 million euros. Proceeds are to be used on refinancing previous borrowing at better terms.
Latvian Finance Minister Oskars Spurdzins said that, due to recent global credit turmoil, it's important to determine the most appropriate time for issuance. "We are carefully analyzing the situation, which is not unambiguous due to the U.S. market problem," he said.

He emphasized that the Eurobond issue, for Latvia, is a necessity. "The problem is that the responsibility has to be taken, that this must be done. There are no grounds for haste, but we cannot be too late, either. There are at present two views: some experts believe that the financial market problems will be over soon, others believe that the US difficulties will leave long-term effects on the financial markets," he proclaimed.
The Latvian State Treasury said in July, in a change of financing policy, that the government would issue eurobonds worth 500 million euros in the fall of 2007, and would simultaneously cancel all other previously planned borrowing in lats.

The decision on the Eurobond must be made by spring 2008.